Quality of care for substance use disorders in patients with serious mental illness

Amy M. Kilbourne, Ihsan Salloum, David Dausey, Jack R. Cornelius, Joseph Conigliaro, Xiangyan Xu, Harold Alan Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We assessed the quality of care for substance use disorders (SUDs) among 8,083 patients diagnosed with serious mental illness from the VA mid-Atlantic region. Using data from the National Patient Care Database (2001-2002), we assessed the percentage of patients receiving a diagnosis of SUD, percentage beginning SUD treatment 14 days or earlier after diagnosis, and percentage receiving continued SUD care 30 days or less. Overall, 1,559 (19.3%) were diagnosed with an SUD. Of the 1,559, 966 (62.0%) initiated treatment and 847 (54.3%) received continued care. Although patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder were more likely to receive a diagnosis of SUD than those diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (22.7%, 18.9%, and 17.7%, respectively; χ2 = 26.02, df = 2, p < .001), they were less likely to initiate (49.1%, 70.7%, and 68.6%, respectively; χ2 = 59.29, df = 2, p < .001) or continue treatment (39.9%, 63.2%, and 62.2%, respectively; χ2 = 72.25, df = 2, p <. 001). Greater efforts are needed to diagnose and treat SUDs in patients with serious mental illness, particularly for those with bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Mental disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Quality indicators
  • Quality of care
  • Substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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